Victoria Is Extending Its Reintroduced Stay-at-Home Orders to Two More Melbourne Postcodes
Two more areas are going into lockdown — and, in nine public housing estates, residents will be required to stay inside their homes for at least the next five days.
In response to Victoria's rising COVID-19 case numbers over the past few weeks, the State Government has implemented a number of measures in an effort to contain the spread of the coronavirus. The state has extended its State of Emergency until mid-July, launched a suburban testing blitz, tightened some gathering restrictions for all Victorians and reintroduced strict stay-at-home orders for Melbourne postcodes that are experiencing the worst community transmission of coronavirus. And, today, Saturday, July 4, it has also advised that it's locking down two more sections of the city.
With 108 new cases of COVID-19 recorded over the past 24 hours — the biggest rise in numbers since Saturday, March 28 — Premier Daniel Andrews has announced the expansion of the state's reintroduced stay-at-home orders to include postcodes 3031 and 3051. In those areas, and in the suburbs of Flemington and North Melbourne specifically, 23 cases have been identified across more than 12 households in public housing estates, with the Premier advising that "this is not like an outbreak spread across multiple homes or multiple suburbs".
He explained that "the close confines and the shared community spaces within these large apartment blocks means this virus can spread like wildfire. And just like fire, we need to put a perimeter around it to stop it from spreading".
Accordingly, the new rules will come into place in the 3031 and 3051 postcodes from 11.59pm tonight, Saturday, July 4.
For most residents of the two postcodes, the reintroduced requirements are very familiar. They're what were in place at stage three of the state's COVID-19 restrictions in late March. So, if you're in one of the ten originally announced or two newly added "hot zone" postcodes with stay-at-home lockdowns, you'll only be able to leave your house for one of four reasons: for work or school, for care or care giving, for daily exercise or for food and other essentials.
You won't be able to have friends and family visit either — unless it's for care — but you can visit your partner and they can visit you.
Plus, businesses in these suburbs will be reverting back to stage three rules, too. Which means, restaurants and cafes must offer takeaway only, and gyms, galleries, beauty parlours, swimming pools, libraries and theatres will need to close.
These rules will also impact all Victorians who usually go into these suburbs — you won't be able to enter an affected suburb, unless it's for one of the four aforementioned reasons.
For residents of the nine public housing estates in the 3031 and 3051 postcodes, however, a "complete lockdown" will come into effect — and will last at least five days at this stage. The nine sites will be closed and contained, and residents will be required to stay inside their homes. "Just as we've done with similar outbreaks in closely confined settings like aged care, the only people coming in and out will be those providing essential services," said Premier Andrews.
The residents of the nine public housing towers will receive onsite clinical care, as well as food delivery and care packages.
The two new postcodes that are required to return to stage three stay-at-home restrictions from tonight are:
- 3031: Flemington, Kensington
- 3051: North Melbourne, Hotham Hill
The nine public housing estates that'll progress to a complete lockdown are:
- 12 Holland Court, Flemington
- 120 Racecourse Road, Flemington
- 126 Racecourse Road, Flemington
- 130 Racecourse Road, Flemington
- 12 Sutton Street, North Melbourne
- 33 Alfred Street, North Melbourne
- 76 Canning Street, North Melbourne
- 159 Melrose Street, North Melbourne
- 9 Pampas Street, North Melbourne
They join the ten postcodes that returned to stage three stay-at-home restrictions tomorrow earlier this week:
- 3012: Brooklyn, Kingsville, Maidstone, Tottenham and West Footscray
- 3021: Albanvale, Kealba, Kings Park, St Albans
- 3032: Ascot Vale, Highpoint City, Maribyrnong, Travancore
- 3038: Keilor Downs, Keilor Lodge, Taylors Lakes, Watergardens
- 3042: Airport West, Keilor Park, Niddrie
- 3046: Glenroy, Hadfield, Oak Park
- 3047: Broadmeadows, Dallas, Jacana
- 3055: Brunswick South, Brunswick West, Moonee Vale, Moreland West
- 3060: Fawkner
- 3064: Craigieburn, Donnybrook, Mickleham, Roxburgh Park and Kalkallo
Premier Andrews said today's moves were announced because the recent COVID-19 figures show the state is "still on a knife's edge" and that "the need for targeted, swift action is stronger than ever before".
"I know this is big. And I know this is unprecedented. But as always with this thing, an unprecedented challenge requires unprecedented action," the Premier noted.
The Premier also said that Victorian Police will be actively enforcing the new stay-at-home orders, including the hard lockdowns.
And, once again, if cases continue to rise, other Melbourne postcodes will also need to go back into lockdown, too.
Stay-at-home restrictions will come into force in postcodes 3031 and 3051 at 11.59pm on Saturday, July 4. For more information, head to the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services website.
Published on July 04, 2020 by Sarah Ward